The work of Cotton Mather and his heated call for Puritan behavior is no exception. Cotton Mather was a puritan minister who authored more than four hundred works of pamphlets and books that tackled his…
Still, he also used the technique of the constant application of religious and biblical ideology to the contemporary world. Mather serves as an icon for conservative, unapologetic Puritanism for social and political change.
Mather was an outspoken Puritan thinker and an definitive conservative, lining as a clergyman, writer and sociologist in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds. He called for a return to the Puritanical ways of his grandfather and great grandfather if the new world (America) was to be saved and to thrive. Cotton Mather’s views are openly expressed in such works as Pillars of Salt and The Wonders of the Invisible World. Mather wrote personally and definitely not in an unbiased way, drawing on Biblical and figurative language to speak to the audiences of his time. Mather really emphasized the importance of the bible and conservative religious texts for characterizing moments in time and learning valuable lessons. For Mather, what he wrote was deeply personal. His biases can be seen in his writings and his writings are meant to unsettle, to stir the reader. Elements of this unrest lie in the fear that he invokes, and in the imagery and fiery language meant to press his cause.
Cotton Mather’s pamphlet Pillars of Salt shows the self-criticality and sensational judgment of Mather’s writing and of the tenets of Puritanism. Pamphlets were a sort of true crime fiction, intended to show accounts of gruesome and sinful deaths. This example of an impious life was something Mather clung to in his own writings. Mather says to the condemned man James Morgan, “Mark what I say: You were born among the enemies of God, you were born with a soul as full of enmity against God, as a Toad is full of poison” (Mather). Humans are sinful- and the concept of original sin follows everyone, so they should live a holy life.
Pillars of Salt included Mathers first sermon about ...
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